Posts by Michelle Browning Coughlin

We have had dozens of bloggers since this blog began who have been so open with their stories. If you are interested in blogging, too, we'd love to hear from you. Please email info@achaheart.org.

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My “Virtual” 5k and Some Thoughts on Running Alone

by Michelle Browning Coughlin on Thursday, May 29, 2014

As part of my 37-37-37 challenge, I was honored to be invited to “virtually” participate in a 5k being held in another state to benefit congenital heart defects research and support. Running “virtually” meant that on the day of the race, I headed out to a local park wearing my race t-shirt, turned on my running app, and ran a 5K by myself. There was no “On Your Mark, Get Set, Go,” no cheering fans on the side of the road, and no loudspeaker announcements congratulating winners at the end of the race. It was just me, running alone.

And yet, every step of the way, I knew that—at least figuratively—so many people were running beside me.

 

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One Year Later – And a Lot of Miles To Go

by Michelle Browning Coughlin on Tuesday, Mar 04, 2014

“Breathe in. Breathe out. Hold your breath.”

The computerized female voice with a semi-British accent filled the MRI chamber, while the clanking and the whirring of the machine sounded all around me, muffled only slightly by the ear plugs the technicians had given me before I laid down on the table. My eyes were squeezed shut, hopeful to avoid a fit of claustrophobic panic, while my arms were held tightly in place by the straps that also held the X-ray plate against my chest. My lungs were silent, still holding my breath.

“Relax.”

I inhaled as much as the anxiety in my chest would allow, preparing for the next bout of breath holding. The back of my mind raced with fear and with questions, while the front of my mind waited for instructions.

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